breathing & compressed AIR QUALITY TESTING


Contact Griffin Air Systems for professional breathing air and Compressed air quality testing services to EN12021 standard.

Periodic Air Quality Testing Services

The purpose of periodically testing your compressed air systems’ air quality is to ensure that the control measures you have put in place deliver the air quality required.

The UK national forward to EN12021 advises that samples should be taken and analysed at least every three months. This should be done more frequently if there has been a change or concerns regarding the production process.

The HSE guideline document Respiratory Equipment at Work (HSG53) states that you should base the frequency of such tests on a risk assessment. This still requires them to be conducted at least every three months and more often when air quality levels cannot be confirmed.

Low Pressure Air Systems

For mobile breathing-air compressors in the UK, COSHH stipulates that the employer should ensure that wherever a compressor is located, the air it supplies is not compromised by nearby contaminants. Therefore, we strongly recommend that for mobile compressors, the air quality is tested every 3 months, or whenever it is first moved into a new position or prevailing wind conditions change.

The final decision on test frequency is the employer’s responsibility to reflect local legislation and the task and frequency of use. It should be incorporated into their risk assessment and updated regularly to reflect results from ongoing breathing-air tests to maintain a robust control system.

High Pressure Air Systems

Whilst 3-monthly testing may be suitable for low pressure breathing-air systems, further consideration should be given to high pressure compressors. This is because the life of the filter elements is much shorter. An HP filter cartridge’s lifespan is typically around 50 hours, which is further reduced in high ambient temperatures.

We recommend that your risk assessment for testing high pressure air systems should be based on the expected filter life. An air quality test should first be completed when new filter elements are fitted and then again when they reach 50% of their life based on the ‘hours run’ usage. Subsequent tests would then be dependent on usage with a maximum interval between tests of 3 months.



The Importance Of Breathing Air Quality Testing

Compressed air has the potential to be a highly dangerous substance if not monitored and handled correctly. Direct contact can cause serious damage to a person’s health. Breathing air must be kept at a high enough quality to be deemed safe for use, in line with EU breathing compressed air standards BS EN 12021:2014. The Work In Compressed Air Regulations 1996 outlines those responsible for management and how to safely work with this substance. Once breathing air is compromised it can lead to:


  • Contamination due to poor air filtration
  • A drop in pressure leading to insufficient airflow
  • Unsafe levels of carbon monoxide & carbon dioxide in the breathing air
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Advantages of Choosing Griffin

Our dedicated team here at Griffin work to solve your compressed air problems. We provide a broad range of services in addition to breathing air testing, including air system repairs, system design, and piping installations to end-of-life replacement. We understand the importance of keeping your compressed air systems safe to use. Working with care, courtesy, and professionalism, and we pride ourselves on our service to our clients. Over the years, Griffin customers have seen better outcomes from their air systems, as well as:


  • Reduced energy costs
  • Operational reliability and availability
  • Optimal equipment function in line with current legislation & regulations
  • Return on investment & value retention

Book Your Air Quality Testing

To book your breathing air quality testing, contact a member of the Griffin team. We will be on hand to help, arranging an ideal date and time for us to carry out our tests and conduct a full survey of your breathing air system. You can learn more about how we can help you keep you breathing air safe, or arrange any of our other services.


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Breathing Air Quality Testing FAQs

Here at Griffin, we offer a variety of services that can benefit you. You can find more information about our services and answers to our frequently asked questions.

Will you replace any contaminated breathing air equipment?

Yes, our team is able to make any compressed air system repairs after carrying out an audit. If your pressure vessel is damaged or needs replacing, we offer a full range of servicing and repair options.

How regularly should I get my breathing air quality tested?

The type of breathing air system you have will determine how frequently testing is required. Low pressure air systems require testing in line with the results of a risk assessment, and typically every 3 months. High pressure compressed air systems require more frequent testing based on the lifespan of the filter. Risk assessments should be undertaken to determine this.

How do I know if my compressed breathing air is contaminated?

Conducting regular checks is essential to determining the quality of your breathing air. Anyone who uses compromised or contaminated breathing air faces a serious threat to their health, so it is important that the condition of the air is monitored reguarly.